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Colorado Tree View

From time to time, we here at Outdoor Design Group like to hand over the reins of this blog to a guest writer. This allows us to peer over the fence into the realm of another business, and bring our readers new views on topics related to our field of work.

This week, T.J. Wood from Plan-It Geo (a company that Outdoor Design Group has collaborated with in the past on various projects) gives us a description of an application they developed for the Colorado State Forest Service. This online tool helps Colorado communities assess their public street and park trees locally to provide a statewide picture of tree diversity and health.

Introduction:

At Plan-It Geo, we specialize in “Trees and Technology.” A tree inventory combines both of these elements seamlessly by management of this important natural resource with use of mobile devices and technology in the field. The Colorado State Forest Service contracted Plan-It Geo to develop a web-based application that communities, campuses, and HOA’s can upload their tree inventories and view important state-wide tree data summaries. To access all of our web and mobile GIS software applications, click here.

A screen shot from CO-Tree View

A screen shot from CO-Tree View

Colorado Tree View:

Project Profile: Colorado Tree View

Project Title: Colorado Tree View – Statewide Inventory and Ash management Application

Client: Colorado State Forest Service

Timeframe: February 2015 – Present

Description: Tree inventories provide critical information for cities, neighborhood associations, and other entities to proactively manage their urban and community forestry resource. This project provided a tool to help diversify the planning and planting of tree species. It also provided a first-time statewide view of the structure of Colorado’s urban forests. The tool is a starting point for a long-term strategy and provides substantial new technical support to communities.

Outcomes: A statewide web-based application was created for Colorado. This application has the built-in ability to “crosswalk” a wide variety of inventory data into the application. The main fields collected are species, dbh (diameter breast height), condition, and location of each tree. The application has a hierarchy of log ins based on city and user approvals with different functionality at each level. A customized dashboard was created for the state to view important number and population statistics on each community or organizational inventory.

A screen shot from CO-Tree View

A screen shot from CO-Tree View

This is the official blog of Outdoor Design Group, Colorado Landscape Architects.  For more information about our business and our services, click here.

 

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‘Green’-Up Your Holiday Décor with LEDs

led_christmas_lights

If you’ve not purchased holiday lights in several years, you are in for some surprises next time you head out shopping for new holiday lighting. Recent advances have produced a wave of new and innovative LED lighting that is far more energy efficient than holiday lighting your father or grandfather installed in years past. Many of the new LED holiday light strings are 7 to 8 times more efficient than traditional incandescent light strings. This translates to additional benefits aside from lowered electricity bills: more strings can be safely strung together end-to-end (which may mean a simplified layout of your light display) and there is a lowered fire hazard as the strings do not get as hot as many of the incandescent holiday light bulbs.

One down side to these new types of holiday lights is their higher up-front cost. But if you calculate in the lower operating costs, LED lights are likely to cost you less money in the long run. And as more LED holiday lights are being manufactured, prices have been dropping.

One criticism of LED lights has been the tendency of light from LED bulbs to appear harsh and “cold”. Manufacturers have responded to this issue and are now producing LED holiday lighting that appears “warmer”, like the incandescent lights they are intended to replace.

So this year, consider adding some ‘green’ lights to your holiday decor by choosing energy efficient LED holiday lights.

Here’s a list of pros and cons for LED Holiday lighting:

PROS

Lower energy use / operating cost

Lower heat output (Less fire hazard)

Longer life

More strings can be connected safely (Fewer outlets or extension cords needed)

 

CONS

Higher purchase cost than incandescent.

Color & “temperature” of light output difference as compared to incandescent

 

This is the official blog of Outdoor Design Group, Colorado Landscape Architects.  For more information about our business and our services, click here.

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Outdoor Design Group on Team Completing Premier China Resort Master Plan

The team of landscape architects at Outdoor Design Group, Inc. are thrilled to be partnering with Bud Surles Signature Resorts of Victor, Idaho to create a master plan for an exclusive new resort project in Tangshan Bay, China.  The 285 acre park and resort on the Pacific coast will be one of the first of it’s kind to be completed in China, and will feature commercial space, lakes, trails, water features, marinas, and numerous active recreational amenities.

Tangshan Bay Resort Master Plan DRAFT

Outdoor Design Group, Inc. was founded in 2004 by Denver landscape architect Matt Corrion.  The firm’s office is located in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado.  Additional details about the Tangshan Bay Resort project will be shared as they become available.  For more information please contact Outdoor Design Group at 303-993-4811.

This is the official blog of Outdoor Design Group, Colorado Landscape Architects.  For more information about our business and our services, click here.

 

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Compliance with New ADA Standards May Mean Costly Renovations

On March 15, 2012, facilities across the United States must comply with the revised ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) design standards adopted in the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.

The 2010 Standards set minimum requirements for newly designed and constructed or altered State or local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

I have reviewed the new standards, and they are pretty extensive.  Property owners and designers should be aware of some of the changes that will be required when constructing or altering a facility.

The provision requiring accessible means of entry/exit for swimming pools has gained a lot of attention.  On March 15th, the US Attorney General signed an extension of 60 days for this particular provision, while also opening up a public comment period.

The swimming pool provision, along with other key new provisions, as taken from the ADA website, include:

2. Recreational Boating Facilities (Sections 235, 1003)

If boat slips are provided at a boating facility, the minimum number that must be accessible depends upon the size of the facility. Accessible boat slips must be dispersed throughout the various types of boat slips.

Where boarding piers are provided at boat launch ramps, at least 5% (but no fewer than one) must be accessible. Gangways that are part of a required accessible route are to be accessible, subject to certain enumerated exceptions.

4. Fishing Piers and Platforms (Sections 237, 1005)

Newly designed, newly constructed, or altered fishing piers must provide accessible routes, subject to the same exceptions permitted for gangways. At least 25% of guardrails or handrails must be no higher than 34 inches and must be dispersed. Clear floor or ground space must be provided at each accessible railing, and turning space must be provided on the pier.

5. Golf Facilities (Sections 238, 1006)

Newly constructed and altered golf facilities must have either an accessible route or golf car passages with a minimum width of 48 inches connecting accessible elements and spaces within the boundary of the golf course. An accessible route must be provided to the golf car rental area, bag drop-off areas, and other elements that are outside the boundary of the golf course. One or two teeing grounds (depending on the total number provided) per hole must be accessible.

If weather shelters are provided, a golf car must be able to enter and exit the shelters. Certain percentages of practice teeing grounds, practice teeing stations at driving ranges, and putting greens must be accessible.

6. Miniature Golf (Sections 239, 1007)

At least fifty percent of all holes on a miniature golf course must be accessible. These accessible holes must be consecutive, and they must be on an accessible route. The last accessible hole must be on an accessible route that connects to the course entrance or exit without going back through other holes.

7. Play Areas (Sections 240, 1008)

Play areas designed, constructed, and altered for children ages two and over in a variety of settings, including parks, schools, childcare facilities, and shopping centers, are covered.

Accessible ground and elevated play components, accessible routes, ramps and transfer systems (typically a platform or transfer steps), and accessible ground surfaces must be provided.

8. Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, and Spas (Sections 242, 1009)

Accessible means of entry/exit are required for swimming pools. Such accessible means of entry include a pool lift or sloped entry, and either a transfer wall, transfer system, or pool stairs. Wading pools must provide a sloped entry, and spas must provide a pool lift, transfer wall, or transfer system. Wave action pools, leisure rivers, and sand bottom pools where user access is limited to one area shall not be required to provide more than one accessible means of entry, either a pool lift, sloped entry, or a transfer system.

 This is the official blog of Outdoor Design Group, Colorado Landscape Architects.  For more information about our business and our services, click here.

 

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Developers Find New Ways to Create Positive Cash Flow for Stagnant Projects

 
RV Resort DesignThis is a guest post by Bud Surles.  The owner of Bud Surles Consulting Group, Bud has over 30 years of award winning parks, resort, and environmental management and planning experience.  He has won national awards in both the public and private sectors in the design and management of resort and public recreation areas.  Outdoor Design Group has recently partnered with Bud Surles Consulting Group to provide planning and landscape architecture services for resort projects throughout the country.
 

New Times Demand New Ideas

Most of us can fondly remember the housing bubble of the first decade. It seems that all you had to do was “build it and they would come.” Billions were invested in well thought out and not so well thought out housing developments, sub-divisions, and second home resort complexes. Each one seemed to build upon the success of the other. Of course, all that came to a terrifying close in 2008, and today the landscape is littered with evidence of the failure of over-development. People were millionaires one day and bankrupt the next. Individuals were secure in an ARM one day and facing foreclosure the next. Good jobs were lost and economics were drastically turned upside down across our land.

Today, many well-conceived housing developments of a few years ago lay dormant on the landscapes of lakes, rivers, mountain areas, and beaches. Lots cannot sell and developers are hanging on waiting for better times to return. However, economic indicators give little hope for that to happen within the staying power of many. But there is good news. It requires a change of vision, but there are opportunities to convert the investment in planning, roads, and infrastructure into a meaningful and profitable cash flow. It is time developers who are in the position of “hanging on” to re-think their investments and look to converting their developments into RV and Resort properties.

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